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Middle East, and is rapidly developing economic relations with EU states. Source: http://www.platts.com/Nuclear/News/8215600.xml?sub=Nuclear&p =Nuclear/News

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    August 21, Reuters Oil tumbles below $70 as Hurricane Dean loses strength. Oil tumbled nearly $2 a barrel to fall below $70 on Tuesday, August 21, as Hurricane Dean lost strength, easing concerns of supply disruptions from Mexico and the U.S. Gulf where oil installations were threatened by the powerful storm. U.S. crude was down $1.70 to $69.42 a barrel, the first time it has fallen below $70 since July 2. It had dropped 86 cents in the previous session after forecasts showed that Dean was moving towards Mexico and would skirt the U.S. Gulf that is home to half of the country's refining capacity and a third of its oil production. Dean, the Atlantic season's first major storm, had caused mass evacuations of personnel at many of Mexico's oil and gas wells, and forced the country to suspend oil exports from three of its major oil ports. The U.S. government also said it was ready to make emergency oil loans from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to refineries, if necessary, to help offset any loss from Mexico, which supplies 13 percent of U.S. imports. Source: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2007−08−21−o il−prices_N.htm

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    August 20, CNN Utah mine too unstable to keep digging, experts say. A panel of experts said the Crandall Canyon coal mine is so unstable that it would be "unacceptable" to resume digging through it to save six trapped miners. Richard Stickler, head of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, said eight experts examined the condition of the central Utah mine and found "overwhelming" evidence that unpredictable seismic activity and unstable mine pillars make it too dangerous to continue rescue efforts. The rescue effort was halted Thursday, August 16, after three workers were killed and six injured in a cave−in. But Stickler said if there is any indication the miners are alive, they would consider digging an opening down to them from above and try to get them out with a rescue capsule. So far, crews have dug four bore holes into the mine, finding no signs of the miners and too little oxygen to sustain life. Source: http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/08/20/mine.unstable/index.html

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Chemical Industry and Hazardous Materials Sector

4. August 21, Waco Tribune−Herald (TX) Downtown evacuated after ammonia gas leak. Officials are investigating after clouds of noxious ammonia gas shut down a Central Texas courthouse square Monday morning, August 20. Workers at the Bosque County Courthouse in Meridian, as well as neighboring businesses and homes, were evacuated or shut down twice in an hour as a food plant released the gas, said Dewey Ratliff, Bosque County emergency management coordinator. The gas came from a safety release valve on a refrigeration unit at the Double B Foods company that “popped off” and released a “pretty significant amount” of the gas into the air, Ratliff said. Officials scrambled to evacuate the area and closed people indoors in a maneuver called “shelter in place,” he said. The gas dissipated in 20 to 25 minutes, but after 15 minutes of clear air, another larger gas cloud was released from the plant, Ratliff said. Officials allowed people back downtown about 30 minutes after the second cloud of gas was released. Source: http://www.wacotrib.com/news/content/news/stories/2007/08/21 /08212007wacammonia.html


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